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Those who keep us safe: April Harris

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(Photo courtesy April Harris)

A passion for law enforcement is the result of a strict military upbringing in the household of police officer April Howard Harris.

“My dad wasn’t in law enforcement, but he was in the Coast Guard,” Harris said. “So, I was raised with discipline and structure in my home. I really think being raised in that environment drove my passion for law enforcement.”

Harris’ mother knew her passion for law enforcement and stumbled across a job listing for police officers with the Vicksburg Police Department.

“I passed all the required tests then went to the academy and started with the Vicksburg Police Department in 2016,” Harris said.

The Vicksburg native got married in 2018 and has since moved to Ridgeland, Mississippi. Her first job in the Jackson Metro area was with Jackson State University Police. During her time there, she landed a top honor by being named Officer of the Year in 2019.

“I was totally shocked and was not expecting it at all,” Harris said.

Harris currently protects metro area residents serving with the Capitol Police. In this new role, Harris patrols the downtown area where the State Capitol sits along with the Governor’s Mansion.

The 28-year-old stands 4-feet-11-inches tall and tips the scales at 120 pounds. What she lacks in height and weight, she makes up for in faith and respect.

“I pray before each day starts for God to keep me safe,” she said. “I also believe it’s all how you handle people and how you treat them.”

Harris said she treats everyone she encounters on her job the way she would want her mother to be treated.

“I definitely believe to get respect, you have to give respect first,” she said.

The newlyweds deal with the pressures of the job together.

“My husband and I make it a point to talk about our day when we get home,” Harris said. “I think this really helps with the stress.”

Another way Harris de-stresses is through her very own podcast, “From the Heart of A.” In the podcast she shares spiritual testimonies about her life and others’ lives. She also speaks about women’s empowerment, God-centered relationships and marriages, and black culture. The podcast can be downloaded from Spotify.

Harris loves the atmosphere at the Capitol Police and plans to have a lengthy career with the force.

“I am so happy at Capitol Police and can see myself here for a very long time,” Harris said. “I would love to move up the ladder here and become a detective or even a chief.”

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News